The Menopause has arrived!
Seemingly overnight we’ve gone from women of a certain age whispering about hot flushes behind closed doors, to celebs and chat show hosts sharing their menopausal experiences on TV and even writing books about it.
The menopause has always been synonymous with hot flushes and mood swings, almost to the point of being humorous, but the reality is that for some menopausal symptoms can have a debilitating effect on their lives, both personal and at work, while for others the menopause transition can be so subtle they don’t notice any changes at all.
Even with the new heightened awareness of the menopause and the array of symptoms that go with it, some employers are still playing catch up with managing the impact of the menopause at work. With many employees already experiencing symptoms and remaining in the workplace until later in life, this number is set to significantly increase.
So, what can, and should, employers do to support those going through the menopause? Acas state the menopause is “a matter needing particularly careful handling” which sounds absolutely terrifying, but often all that’s required is to make simple adjustments such as providing a fan, allowing breaks to be taken when needed or even being flexible where possible with start and finish times to help manage symptoms. However, in an employment tribunal, menopausal symptoms have been accepted to be a disability, therefore it is advisable, as well as being good practice, for an employer to consider making reasonable changes for anyone experiencing menopausal symptoms as well as providing training and guidance for managers.
For more practical advice on training and guidance for managers and how to best support those experiencing menopausal symptoms in the workplace, contact the Tamar HR team on 01579 343700.